Josh Lucas

Josh Lucas Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: June 20, 1971

Age: 52 years old

Birth Place: Little Rock, Arkansas

Though it took him almost a decade to truly get his career going, actor Josh Lucas has starred in a number of high-profile movies often in supporting roles. After appearing as one of many doomed rugby team members in the survival drama "Alive" (1993), Lucas spent a year in Australia on the show "Snowy River: The McGregor Saga" (Family Channel, 1993-96) before returning to America to land roles in "American Psycho" (2000), "You Can Count on Me" (2000), "The Deep End" (2001) and "Session 9" (2001). His career earned a significant boost with a prominent role in "A Beautiful Mind" (2001), which led to a leading role opposite Reese Witherspoon in "Sweet Home Alabama" (2002). From there, Lucas co-starred in highly anticipated features like "Wonderland" (2003), "Hulk" (2003) and "Poseidon" (2006), only to step back from big-budget blockbusters to produce and star in small, more personal projects. He later reemerged onto the public radar with turns in "Life as We Know It" (2011), "The Lincoln Lawyer" (2011) and Clint Eastwood's acclaimed biopic "J. Edgar" (2011). Despite not establishing himself as a major leading man, Lucas remained a fine and prolific character actor capable of earning the audience's sympathies or condemnation with equal skill.

Born on June 20, 1971 in Little Rock, AK, Lucas was raised by his father, Don Maurer, an emergency room doctor, and his mother, Michelle, a nurse and midwife. Lucas had a peripatetic childhood, thanks in part to his parents' political activism the family relocating more than a dozen times, living in various places in the South before eventually settling outside Tacoma, WA. While attending Gig Harbor High School, Lucas nurtured his interest in drama and participated in statewide competitions which he won in both his junior and senior year. Ditching college for a an acting career, he headed to California and soon landed guest roles on various TV series, including the sitcom "True Colors" (Fox, 1990-92), the quirky teen comedy "Parker Lewis" (Fox, 1990-92) and the family drama "Life Goes On" (ABC, 1989-1993). Also at this time, he made his television movie debut in the rather dull thriller "Child of Darkness, Child of Light" (USA Network, 1991) and played a young George Armstrong Custer in the Steven Spielberg-produced, Civil War-set drama "Class of '61" (ABC, 1993).

Lucas made his initial foray in feature film acting as one of the rugby team members stranded in the Andes after a plane crash in the true-to-life survival drama "Alive" (1993). Later that year, he headed to Australia to accept his first regular series role as Luke McGregor on "Snowy River: The McGregor Saga" (Family Channel, 1993-96), but for a number of reasons opted to leave after only one season, with his character going out in a heroic manner. Back in the States, Lucas had supporting roles in "Wing Commander III: The Heart of the Tiger" (1995) and guest shots on the short-lived drama "Feds" (CBS, 1997). Lucas began his string of somewhat unsympathetic characters by playing the playboy lover of an American woman in China in "Restless" (2000) and followed up as a venal Wall Street yuppie and colleague of serial killer Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) in "American Psycho" (2000) After playing the ex-husband of a single mother (Laura Linney) in "You Can Count on Me" (2000), he delivered a memorable turn as Darby Reese, the sleazy older lover of a teenage boy (Jonathan Tucker) whose death begins a chain of events in "The Deep End" (2001), starring Tilda Swinton.

Lucas' career really began to take off following his turn as a cynical loudmouth removing asbestos from an abandoned mental hospital in the effective horror thriller "Session 9" (2001) and his supporting role as the supercilious rival to math genius John Forbes Nash (Russell Crowe) in Ron Howard's Oscar-winning "A Beautiful Mind" (2001). He took a step toward leading man status with his charming turn as the redneck husband of a Southern belle (Reese Witherspoon) who returns home after life as a Park Avenue fashion designer in the romantic comedy "Sweet Home Alabama" (2002). He went on to appear as the professional and romantic rival of Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) in Ang Lee's angst-ridden and ultimately failed adaptation of the comic book creature "Hulk" (2003). Following that, Lucas co-starred in "Wonderland" (2003), playing real-life cocaine dealer and small-time hustler Ron Launius, who was one of four victims in the infamous Wonderland Murders in which porn star John Holmes (Val Kilmer) allegedly participated. At the time, Lucas became involved with Latina vixen Salma Hayek, whom he started dating in 2003, only to break off the affair the following year. Meanwhile, his next effort was the critically maligned actioner, "Stealth" (2005), a stupefyingly lowbrow cross between "Top Gun" and "2001" in which he was a male fighter pilot of a new generation stealth plane.

After a cameo as the younger version of Paul Newman's character in the award-winning miniseries "Empire Falls" (HBO, 2005), Lucas had a supporting role alongside Newman's old partner Robert Redford in the easily forgotten award vehicle, "An Unfinished Life" (2005). He followed up with a leading performance as a charismatic small-town basketball coach whose will to win with heart, determination and self-respect helped break down racial barriers in the compelling and heartwarming period drama, "Glory Road" (2006). Lucas next starred opposite Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss in Wolfgang Petersen's big-budget disaster flick "Poseidon" (2006), a rather unnecessary remake of "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972). From there, Lucas stepped back from Hollywood to participate in more personal projects, earning his first executive producer credit with the indie psychological drama "Death in Love" (2007) and starring as a desperate man searching for the killer of the person who gave him his new heart in "Tell Tale" (2009). Following a turn opposite Jon Hamm in "Stolen" (2009), he had supporting parts in the thriller "Peacock" (2009), the broad comedy "Life as We Know It" (2010) and "The Lincoln Lawyer" (2011). Lucas returned to primetime filmmaking with a performance as Charles Lindbergh in Clint Eastwood's acclaimed biopic, "J. Edgar" (2011). Back on the small screen, he played in-over-his-head lawyer Mitch McDeere in the television version of John Grisham's "The Firm" (NBC, 2012), only to see the show yanked from the schedule despite a heavy marketing campaign.

Lucas returned to the big screen with a role as Neal Cassady in the Jack Kerouac film "Big Sur" (2013), followed by co-starring turns in the family adventure "Space Warriors" (2013), 1940s-set drama "Wish You Well" (2013), coal miner drama "Little Accident" (2014), and indie comedy-drama "The Mend" (2014). For his return to the small screen, Lucas co-starred with Debra Messing in the comedy-drama "The Mysteries of Laura" (NBC 2014-16), playing the ex-husband turned precinct captain of headstrong detective Laura Diamond (Messing).

By Shawn Dwyer

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